Asian man with punching bag

Most types of martial arts are social activities. These systems were designed for combat, after all. A basketball player who trains alone may perfect his shooting and dribbling, but he might not be as effective running up and down the court with nine other players, for example. It’s only logical that you need a sparring partner to master martial arts.

However, if you don’t want to become some combat specialist or if you’re not feeling very social right now, different types of martial arts teach things beyond defense. They serve as great exercise and help develop other components of fitness, such as balance, agility, and . Remember, Daniel-san won the All-Valley Tournament in the Karate Kid without sparring with anybody till the day of the contest. Another bonus is that they’re mostly , so you can do them anytime.

If you want to learn or brush up on your combat skills but find yourself alone, here are some types of martial arts that you can practice solo.

Tai Chi

This ancient Chinese martial art is much more democratic compared to others. Its slower, calmer nature makes it appealing to everyone, from beginners to those with physical limitations. Instead of blunt movements, Tai Chi focuses on fluid, almost dance-like steps. It also features a wide range of motions, making it a full-body exercise.

Tai Chi is meditative as it is physical. Its philosophy emphasizes the natural world in a spontaneous state of balance. According to the study, A Comprehensive Review of Health Benefits of Qigong and Tai Chi, Tai Chi also improves internal balance and aids in healing, stress neutralization, longevity, and personal tranquility.

Qi Gong

Qi Gong is very similar to Tai Chi. It has a much older history and uses slow, gentle movements to warm the body and stimulate blood flow. According to the US-based National Qigong Association, it is a mind-body-spirit practice that improves by integrating posture, movement, breathing techniques, self-massage, sound, and focused intent.

Based on the earlier study, despite the mildness of the exercise, Qi Gong is known to enhance bone density. Other benefits include better quality of life, immunity, and cardiopulmonary fitness.


If you’ve seen Karate Kid and Cobra Kai, then you know that karate lends itself well to solo training – that is, if you subscribe to the Miyagi-Do teachings. (Those students won battles and tournaments without ever sparring with anyone beforehand.)

While that’s unlikely in real life, you can practice the strikes and stances by yourself to get a feel for the moves. If you have equipment like a punching dummy or bag, all the better. It can turn your practice into a full-fledged workout and also build strength and accuracy.


Kickboxing has long been converted into a martial arts workout. Many gyms offer kickboxing classes that don’t require actual physical fighting but focus more on cardio and strength drills set to music. It’s not only great for developing your endurance, but it can also tone your body all over. If your goal is to get lean, then kickboxing might be for you.

Kickboxing kicks up a sweat. Make sure to apply Rexona Men Ice Cool Roll-on Antiperspirant Deodorant before and after your workout. It has Motionsense, patented technology that uses smart capsules which release freshness with friction – meaning, the more you move, the fresher you feel.


Wushu’s reputation has evolved into something of a performance sport, which is ideal for solo training. However, it is considered a full martial art and contact sport. You can perform wushu bare-handed or with long and short weapons. It develops stamina, coordination, balance, agility, flexibility, and speed.

According to a 2018 study in the Journal of Exercise and Rehabilitation, which analyzed the physical effects of the martial art, regular wushu training leads to increased heart rate and greater exercise intensity, which promote energy expenditure and weight loss.

Most types of martial arts require a training partner or group, sure. However, if you like this kind of sport, you can still practice martial arts at home. Reap its many other benefits and become technically proficient, if you can’t be defense-ready.